Tuesday, August 23

bingin beach, bali

Bingin in August is a very different scene to the Bingin we experienced in January.  Firstly there is the weather; the wind is offshore, sun is bright and the days are generally dry. It is the season of surf and sunbathing, with a hard day of seaside activity rewarded with a cheap massage, even cheaper nasi goreng and a large bottle of Bintang.  Road access to Bingin beach is limited to the cliff top, from where all supplies are carried down the steep steps on foot. At least the full bottles are going downhill.

The chatter is dominated by French, German, Spanish and Italian. Brazilians also fair strongly, with the Aussie contingency always present. Competition for the waves if furious, with  gun local boys staking claim to poll position and Balinese "guides" blocking for their paying surf buddies. Photographers shoot every move from the shade of a warung verandah, and you can buy an ego boosting image as soon as you return to the sand. At low tide, rock pools are exposed, providing perfect splashing holes for kids and source of collectibles for beachcombers.

Accommodation on the cliff is basic, but even spartan rooms with nothing more than a bed and mosquito net boast uninterrupted ocean views.  A number of foreign owned houses are crammed between the warungs and guesthouses, with influences of Mediterranean architecture and casual Australian beach style. Even if you are staying elsewhere, I recommend at least a day trip to Bingin and nearby Uluwatu, to immerse yourself in the ocean and modern Balinese surf culture.

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